Great White Shark – Raw Power
Journey-maker. Peaceable predator. Honing the senses. Above average senses. Senses beyond the standard five. Protection in all worlds. Power and authority. Tendency towards workaholicism. Ceaselessness. Resistance to change. Curiosity and intelligence. Exploration. Dominance and hierarchy. Connection to the sea and animistic spirits. Raw power. Existing well within fluctuation.
The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) also known as the white pointer, among many other names, is a large, macropredator and epipelagic-oceanic fish found in all of the major oceans. It grows to impressive sizes, with females being larger than males. Most average out to 3.4-4 metres (males) and 4.6-4.9 metres (females) with reports of much larger sharks existing, though not all have been verified. They can live for longer than seventy years, and is one of the longest lived of the cartilaginous fish. As a species, they are approximately 16 million years old. They can swim at speeds of 56 km/h, and reach depths of 1,200 metres. They have no natural predators other than killer whales. The great white shark is one of the primary predators of marine mammals, including baleen whales.
They migrate seasonally and travel long distances, and have a demanding diet. They eat fish, sea mammals, turtles, otters and birds, and will eat carrion. Like many other sharks, it has multiple rows of serrated teeth. It eats by biting down and shaking its head from side to side, sawing through flesh. Sharks have the ability to sense electromagnetic fields emitted by living animals, and can detect half a billionth of a volt. Great white sharks have a body temperature warmer than the water around it, and its body temperature is internally regulated and fluctuating. They have excellent healing factors, have defences against heavy metal toxicity and often avoid age-related ailments. Breaching behaviour has been observed in great white sharks, especially while hunting seals.
Males take 26 years to be sexually mature, and females take 33 years before they can produce offspring. Females will lay eggs in-utero, which then develop until birth after 11 months of gestation. Unborn sharks will eat other eggs and presumably young while in the womb. Despite their popularity in research, great white sharks have never been observed mating.
Great white sharks have complex behaviours and social structures, including size and sex related dominance hierarchies. Females generally dominate males, larger sharks dominate smaller shark and residents dominate newcomers. Instead of coming into conflict, they will often engage in rituals or displays to prevent combat, though it can happen. Great white sharks is one of the few sharks that will lift its head above the water line to look at its prey or view its surroundings. They are naturally very curious, intelligent, semi-social animals.
The great white shark is responsible for more human bites than any other shark, with 272 recorded incidents (as of 2012). The majority of bites are non-fatal, and when they are fatal it is usually as a result of blood-loss from a test bite. It is a myth that great white sharks mistake humans for seals, but they do not seem to like the taste of humans, and humans are too bony to be a preferred prey. Shark tourism is increasingly popular, but as it habituates sharks to humans and associates them with the presence of food, this can be a dangerous and harmful practice. They cannot be kept successfully in captivity.
The great white shark is extremely vulnerable ecologically to hunting, overfishing, harmful medicine claims, climate change and environment damage, and is protected internationally, and in many different countries. Elsewhere, highly damaging, harmful shark culls are conducted. The great white shark has a controversial relationship with humans, due to the incident of bites when humans come into its territories, and due to poor representation in mass media.